Looking for somewhere free to go in Leatherhead, Surrey over August?
The title relates to my new exhibition of painting, photographic art, poetry, drawing (and even some fabric) which will be on display at Leatherhead Theatre from 4th to 27th August. Monday to Saturday, 10am to 10pm. Gosh, that’s late.

Yes, time is ticking by. I am a very organised person, and it’s coming in handy at the moment. It seems odd publicising the exhibition when it is, well, shall we say, still in progress? I have no worries that I won’t be able to get it together in time, but it feels like I am exercising my faith a bit. That’s quite good. Not bad. How boring life would be without faith. It’s exciting.

The only pain is the publicity stuff. I quite enjoy it in some ways, but it does take time. I have always been someone who enjoys promoting things which I feel are worthwhile. I have not spent so much time promoting ME and what I do before, so that feels rather odd too. It really is a job in itself though. Having had a slight moan here, I wanted the experience of pulling together an exhibition very much. With my degree being in Literature I did not do the usual thing of having an end of degree show. So it is kind of fufilling that role for me.

So, are you looking for somewhere free to go in Leatherhead in Surrey over August? Well, maybe not, but regardless of that, there must be some people out that that are. My exhibition is fine for children too… that’s very important to me. And it doesn’t cost anything. That helps a lot of people too. It’s accessible. Yes, I like those long days in Summer. So do pop in! I hope you do!

More details see http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk

Is that REALLY the date!  I had to look twice.  Things are well underway with the preparations for my solo exhibition “Articulation 2009 – Jenny Meehan” at Leatherhead Theatre, Surrey, UK  (4th to 27th August 2009.  10am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday. Free Entry).  How important it is to get the details right, and this is not a natural inclination for me.  Seem to be doing OK at the moment.  They is a huge amount to do, but I wanted the experience so much.  You can only really learn about things thoough experience.  I am enjoying it.  I quite like the promotions side of things. I have always been someone who is keen to promote things which I believe are worth promoting. 

Just got the flyer graphics off ready for printing today. I still need to get my fabrics printed.  It’s amazing how many different substrates can be printed on. I find it very exciting and inspiring.  In particular, I have been feeling over the moon about my “London Plane Fabric”.  It looks amazing on screen and I cannot wait to see it printed onto fabric. 

I am always torn between the wonders of printing, (the many processes, the endless possibilities) and the magic of painting, (the quiet meditation, the endless flux, the loss of self which happens when painting) I find both attractive.  I guess they have different powers.  There is a power in multiple reproductions of images.  There is another power in the intimacy of a one to one encounter with a painting. It is deeper I think. There is an emotive power which, if one lets it, can reach further.  There’s just more there. It is the texture, the layers of paint, the brush strokes, the pressure, the speed of application, the changes in direction…they all seem much clearer to me.

Not having much chance to paint at the moment.  All this presentation must be done, but it’s taking all my time. I am however looking forward to a painting course from 7th August onwards for a week.  That will be bliss.  That is my reward for all this presentation work I am doing now. 

Well, I’m writing this in way of a break from my exhibition preparation, but I do need to get back to it now.  I DO enjoy writing. I am very pleased that some of my poetry will be on display as part of the “Articulation 2009 – Jenny Meehan” Exhibition. If you are reading this and are in my neck of the woods…(Surrey, UK) and would like to pop by to see my work at the Leatherhead Theatre, please do.  You are most welcome.  I also have a mailing list (only two per year, and Bcc) so if you would like to receive more information on the exhibition, do request to be placed on it, and I can send you more information nearer the time.

No image for this post yet!

It all depends where your treasure is.

It all depends where your treasure is.

“How to survive and prosper as an artist”…that kind of brings a slight smile to my face at the moment.  The word “prosper” seems strangely out of place, though the “survive” is quite apt!  But I ‘m not moaning.  I am very grateful to be able to channel my creative energy.  It’s been many years in coming. 

I feel a bit pathetic saying  “I have waited twenty one years to do what I am doing now”.  It begs the question, ” Well, what was stopping you before?” Surely if you really want to do something you just do it.  True.  But, it has to be said, it’s a hell of a lot harder when you can just about survive…when you can’t buy fruit flavoured yogurt,  (even the economy one!) because it’s too expensive, and have to look, enviously, at someone elses.  And resist the temptation to pinch it!   I have had quite a few years like that, in the distant past. 

Thankfully, in the distant past.  I am happy to say I am now enjoying my fruit yogurts very much.  Not, however, because of my amazing financial success.  People are not paying thousands of pounds for my right toe nail in a tin.  Or my toilet.  Or my toilet paper. Or my…    No, we won’t go there.  You know what I mean.

“How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist” is actually the title of a very useful book written by Caroll Michels.  It’s pretty old, and dated 1992.  But that doesn’t make it less useful to me.  It’s packed with good advice, especially for an artist like me who did not do my degree in Art, and therefore did not learn anything about marketing and the business side of art.  Well, come to think of it, I am not sure if they teach that to people studying Art at degree level anyway.  So maybe I didn’t miss out too much!  (Note: just found out that a new version of the book is published this year, so there’s no need to try and track down an old and dusty one, as I did!)

As I am busy preparing for my first Solo Exhibition I guess I am going to have to think about publicity and all of that side of things.  It will be a good experience, and the book by Caroll Michels had loads of great ideas and advice in it.  But it takes so much time up!  I have got to get my fabric printed and my photographic prints mounted.  I even have a painting I need to finish.  AAAAhhhh!    That’s only half of it.  The other half is the house, children and husband!

This is Jenny Meehan's take on the current financial situation!

This is Jenny Meehan's take on the current financial situation!

One of the most exciting things for any artist has got to be your first Solo Exhibition.  I decided I didn’t want to wait for mine… I didn’t want to wear my shoes out, knocking on gallery doors, seeking representation. No way. Besides, I’m not gearing my artistic practice in that direction. I sell bits here and there, but I see my creativity, by nature, as being something which should not be tailored from the outside.  It’s an internal force which is, and should always be, forever pushing boundaries.  So, at present, I’m unwilling for anyone else to package me or what I do.  I don’t mind wrapping myself in my own personally designed paper, as long as I can burst out of it, when least expected.

So, with that said, I’m pleased to say I will be exhibiting a selection of visual artwork and poetry at Leatherhead Theatre in Surrey, for most of August this year.  If you would like to be put on my mailing list in order to receive details of this exhibition, do contact me via my website and tick YES on the mailing list box. YES, just YES, will do very well.  My website has a nice first person discourse, and lots of examples of my work. jennymeehan.co.uk

With the current financial situation, it’s easy to feel pessimistic. Feel it’s not the time to branch out creatively, to take risks, to jump on the Star Ship Enterprise and fly out into the unknown.  But I think, at times like this, it’s even more important to realise and embrace the value of the arts, of all varieties.  Why?  Because we have spirits which need feeding, need refreshment, and need stimulation. And it’s for that reason, and in order to make my contribution to improving the quality of life in some small but significant way, that I won’t wait, but just make my steps out there, in the gravity-free atmosphere. I hope I will encourage other artists as they read this, as well as letting you know about the event I am sweating blood, sweat and tears over at the moment.  

Take heart… don’t wait for it to happen.  Make it happen. Make it happen NOW!

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